I just returned from a round trip from Pittsburgh to Salt Lake City via the Capitol Ltd., and the California Zephyr; and I wanted to share information on four topics in recent discussion on the Forum. Black Ink is indeed a requirement for signing in the Dining Car, as when I used my own pen, I was asked three times on both the CL and CZ "whether that is black ink." When I inquired, I didn't receive an answer to the "black ink" issue, but there is apparently tighter inventory controls in the dining car, as more attention is paid to the slips, and when someone at my table ordered bacon on a sandwich, and they were out-of-bacon, there was extensive discussion of "how to remove the bacon from the slip" so it wouldn't foul up inventory. I used more duct tape on this trip than in recent memory. The closet door and sleeper door needed pieces, and the room vent needed help with an added newspaper strip on various roomettes. Of course, your neighbor always wants to "use some" once they see you do it. Ice was completely gone from the sleepers on CL and CZ. The car attendant seemed to go to the dining car whenever ice was requested, and a container for transport always seemed to be an issue. Add to the duct tape a box of zip-lock large bags, or something to offer the attendant for transport. The word "overbooked" was used twice by the Conductor over the PA system, and coach passengers were seated in both the Lounge and Dining Car temporarily. Stern announcements about "keep your belongings off the seat next to you" were common, as well as sterner warnings about the same in the Lounge Car. These two Amtrak trains were packed, at least the last week of July. All things considered, it was a great trip and all Amtrak staff were generally pleasant. I forgot -- the CL was HELD for 90 minutes plus in Chicago on July 30 for 57 transfers from the CZ. Sleeping car passengers in Chicago were boarded on the CL at normal time for dinner. All this made 57 people happy, but upset those who had to sit and wait. A little of the time was made up by Pittsburgh, but D.C. was likely late.